If you’re not scaring yourself on a ride once in a while, you’re not evolving as a rider. When the opportunity presents itself, seize it to challenge yourself with a ride that’s a little steeper, more technical, sketchier, spookier, or more physically demanding…like this mountain bike ride for climbers.

If climbing is your thing, then Granada is your sweet spot. As with most mountain bike or road rides here, this mountain bike ride for climbers allows you to dial up or down the suffering depending on how you feel that day. We wanted to ride between 2-3 hours so we hurried through the flat stuff on pavement but we could have certainly added in some off-road routes to keep things lively. There’s also a punishing dirt road climb up El Purche that would have extended our ride time by an hour so we decided to save it for another day.

The main features of this circular loop include an 8.5 km (5.3 mi.) dirt climb with a grade that ranges between 4.5 and 15%, and another shorter paved climb that tops out at 31% at its steepest part and then heads into some tricky — sometimes hike-a-bike singletrack for 2 km (1.3 mi). We skipped some off-road variations between Granada and La Zubia in favor of reaching the climb quickly but just know, you’ve got options for extending or mixing up this ride. There’s also an option to abandon this route in Monachil in order to pack in some more distance and climbing. To do this option, simply turn right into the parking lot for Los Cahorros and follow the dirt road to the left immediately after you enter the parking area.

This ride can also be done in summer since the first climb passes through a pine tree forest and offers ample shade. Once you’re out in the open, you’re high up enough to catch a breeze blowing up there.

GPX File
distance = 30km/19 mi. elevation gain = 811m/2,660 ft